McMichael adventures with the maple leaf

March break is always a special time at the McMichael, and a busy one, too.
That’s why they call it “March Break Madness,” after all!

This year, we offered our very first accessible art program, Canadian Maple Leaf Adventure, to conclude a busy week with some creatively quiet family time. On Saturday, March 16th, art instructor Anna Pallotta led five families on an adventure inspired by Canadian landscape and the lush greenery within it.

The program began with pencil sketches at Pine Cottage, where Anna showed the group how to do shading techniques overtop images of birch and maple trees. Following the warm-up activity, the group went on an exciting walk throughout the front entrance of the grounds. Anna distributed photographs she took of the McMichael landscape to each participant to scout out the exact location of each image. The scavenger hunt was a great way to explore the grounds and witness their reflection on the definitive Canadian work inside the gallery – the next destination.


Inside gallery one exploring the Group of Seven

As families gathered inside the Grand Hall, took of their coats, hats and mitts, Anna guided them throughout the gallery’s many Group of Seven exhibits. She engaged each participant with insightful questions, and everyone was able to make strong correlations between the works and personal experiences.


Anna discussing the Group of Seven’s siganture painting techniques



Later, the group wound down with the viewing of The West Wind, a film montage depicting a “day-in-the-life” of artists like Tom Thomson and A.Y. Jackson.

Anna accompanied the film with an even
more natural soundtrack
– a music compilationwestwinddvd from National Parks of Canada,
entitled the National Parks Project.  

It is a beautifully organic album comprised of 39 musicians dispered across 13 national parks. The groups spent five days in destinations that include the Bruce Peninsula, Cape Breton and Kluane. It’s a wonderful way to “capture the majesty of landcape through music and image.”


The best part about the McMichael is that we don’t need to travel to any of those three parks – we have majestic art and nature at our fingertips! And it’s all accessible, too.


Hope to see you at our next family art program!


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